When I was growing up my mother had this saying that really annoyed me: If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.
Back then I kind of understood it, but now I have a great appreciation for this saying.
Are you the kind of person who says, from time to time, “if only…”? What good does that do? When I was younger this was a popular habit of mine. I would beat myself up with the what if’s and tear myself down with the if only’s. These did me no good. They only made me feel worse.
So what about you? Do you have a past relationship that you’ve often wondered about? If only… Have you lost a job you loved, and you wonder “what if…”?
I find that when I have the mindset that regrets things not done that could have been then I am a miserable soul indeed. I even begin to go into conversations worried about having the right words or doing the right things to make everything go smoothly. I want the best from each moment of life, but the more I struggle to try to make each moment the best myself the more frustrated I am with the minute details of the moment that didn’t go right.
I am a big fan of the movie “The Matrix”, and I have seen all three of them multiple times. I’m not as big a fan of the second and third installments, but in the second movie there is a scene in which the trio that is out to save the world has a conversation that doesn’t go as they expected. One of them begins to complain about the situation when the character that is more prophet-like stops her and reminds her that it couldn’t have happened any other way, but there must be a reason for it to be that way.
When I saw this it reminded me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6. “Do not worry.” If I remember that God is always in control, then I can have much more peace in each situation. God has promised us to turn every situation out for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). If I trust in that promise then I know that as long as I have surrendered my life to Him then whatever I put my hand to will turn out the way it was intended.
If I have prayed over a situation or conversation before I meet, then I can have peace that God will direct my words and actions. Even when I feel like things didn’t go as well as expected, I can trust that God used whatever was said or done to enhance the situation of all involved.
What this does is grant much more freedom. I no longer have to worry about how things are going to go. I don’t have to have regrets from the past. The things that happened happened and the things that will happen will happen. I am not in control. God is!
This also has great implications on whether or not I share the message of Jesus with others. When I am worried what they will think or whether or not I will have the right words, then I hesitate and often do not do the things which are necessary for their salvation. But when I surrender myself to God and His will, then it doesn’t matter whether or not I have the right worlds. All that matters is that I love the other person and try. God will give the blessing.
It is my prayer that you can be freed from a life of regret. May you stop saying the “what ifs” and the “if onlys”. May your life be fuller because of a lack of worry, and may you trust that God will certainly turn every situation out for your good.
If there is anything I can do for you or pray with you about, feel free to contact me at 245-1611 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you as you live in His freedom!